giovedì 9 dicembre 2010

Con quella faccia da banchiere

Con quella faccia da banchiere

L’antico saggio greco scriveva: “Man mano che invecchio, vado imparando”. L’antico saggio romano scriveva: “Sbagliando, s’impara”. Io, invece, diventando vecchio vado disimparando. E, sbagliando, mi avvoltolo nei miei errori. Colpa mia? Io penso di no. E difatti..... E difatti il saggio greco e il saggio romano facevano ampio ricorso alla “meditazione” e relativo ricorso alla “lettura” e allo “ascolto”. Oggi, invece, io sono bombardato da “notizie” e da “commenti” che mi vengono forniti dai “media”. E mi nasce il crudele sospetto che i media ci siano perché tanti “prezzolati” mi confondano le idee.

Parole in libertà? Vogliamo vedere assieme? Leggo oggi un interessante articolo di Marcello Messori (1). In detto articolo si riporta l’opinione, commendandola positivamente, di Wolfang Schauble, Ministro alle Finanze della Repubblica Federale Tedesca. Dice Schauble: noi, dando vita all’EURO e alla BCE, abbiamo rinunciato alla “sovranità monetaria” dei singoli Stati, non abbiamo rinunciato alla “sovranità fiscale” dei singoli Stati. Perché, ora, vengono a proporci che i singoli Stati devono intervenire per salvare alcuni stati spendaccioni?

Discorso ineccepibile, solo che..... Solo che alcuni “statisti” (?!?) europei, tra i quali il “nostro Tremonti”, vanno proponendo di dar vita agli “EUROBOND”, per “affrontare unitariamente” le crisi finanziarie (2). A me pareva e pare un discorso contorto. E mi ero espresso. Torno a ripetere: la BCE dovrebbe stampare una certa quantità di Euro. Euro che presterebbe alle Banche. Dopodiché gli Stati europei dovrebbero farsi prestare i soldi dalle Banche per prestarli agli Stati che ne hanno bisogno.

Scusate, non vi pare che ci siano troppi passaggi? Non sarebbe più logico se la BCE comprasse i titoli degli Stati europei che ne hanno bisogno? Qualche banchiere e/o statista saggio potrebbe oppormi: “Così facendo la BCE rischierebbe i soldi che presta e l’Euro si indebolirebbe”. Ed io risponderei: “Perché gli speculatori, nel prestare soldi agli Stati in difficoltà, ci guadagnano e la BCE dovrebbe rimetterci?”. Ed ancora: “Stampare in tipografia una certa quantità di EURO e prestarli alle Banche all’1% è politica saggia e prestare i soldi agli Stati ad un interesse superiore sarebbe politica avventata?”. Oltretutto, la BCE esiste e, se come sostiene il Ministro alle Finanze tedesco, gli Stati hanno ceduto alla BCE la loro sovranità monetaria, la BCE può disporre liberamente la “quantità di Euro” da stampare e “a chi prestarli”. O queste sono solo prerogative della FED? C’è forse una qualche differenza tra la “sovranità monetaria” che la FED esercita sugli US$ e la “sovranità monetaria” che la BCE esercita sull’EURO? E, se c’è, perché questa differenza?

***

Ahimè! La differenza c’è, ma non la si può dichiarare pubblicamente. Se no, i popoli potrebbero ribellarsi. Ma su questo tornerò.

Al momento mi preme segnalare che Frau Merkel risponde “NEIN”. E Danilo Taino ci spiega il “perché del diniego”:la Merkel non è “renana” e “cattolica”, come tanti suoi predecessori, ma “prussiana” e “luterana”. Oltretutto la tedescaccia è cresciuta bevendo birra, non vino (3). Confesso, di fronte a tanto acume, sono rimasto intontito. E io, modestissimo pubblicista che scribacchia gratis, non posso che rendere omaggio ad un brillante “corrispondente estero” del “Corrierone”, pagato ad un tanto a riga. Eppure......

Eppure un dubbio mi assale. Mi spiego. E’ da una vita che vengo ripreso da tantissimi personaggi autorevoli che mi condannano per alcuni testi razzisti letti in gioventù. Di fronte alla lettura del dotto “esperto di cose germaniche del Corrierone”, pagato ad un tanto a riga, mi verrebbe da chiedere: “Esiste forse un razzismo buono ed un razzismo cattivo?”. Mah! Io, ad ogni caso, ho una mia personale opinione. E ve la sottopongo gratis. I Tedeschi hanno perso la Seconda Guerra Mondiale e, dopo la guerra, si sono visti smembrati in 2 Stati. Era giocoforza tenersi buoni i “vincitori” che chiedevano sempre soldi con motivazioni varie (chi in nome della Shoah; chi in nome del fatto che i Tedeschi erano brutti, sporchi e cattivi; chi in nome della nascente Europa). E i Tedeschi a dire “mea culpa” e a pagare. Finché un certo giorno i Tedeschi arrivarono alla sospirata unificazione. E, da allora, hanno cominciato a dire: “Niente più estorsioni monetarie”. C’è da meravigliarsi che la Frau, pur florida e in buona salute, non ami farsi strizzare le mammelle?

***

Torniamo alle differenze tra la FED e la BCE. Che possono essere ben spiegate con i “casi di casa nostra”. Ordunque, nella “prima Repubblica” c’erano i “ladroni” che, giustamente, finirono in galera. Poi subentrarono gli “uomini probi” (Amato, Ciampi, Draghi, Prodi e compagnia cantante le.... lodi del Signore). I quali uomini probi svendettero le industrie di stato a prezzi vilissimi. Tra le attività cedute alcune “banche di diritto pubblico”. Ed erano così ossessionati dalla “idea di vendere subito” da non accorgersi che, in dette banche, erano depositate le azioni della Banca d’Italia. Fu così che le azioni della Banca d’Italia finirono in mani private.

La svista era troppo grossa (si derubava il popolo di un enorme tesoro) e si provvide a correggerla con una leggina. Solo che la leggina, varata a fine 2005, non ha trovato ancora attuazione. E, dunque, il tesoro del popolo italiano, detenuto dalla banca d’Italia, è nelle mani di alcuni banchieri. E su questo ci sarebbero colpe gravissime, anche di natura penale. Solo che in giro si trovano magistrati di tutti i colori ma non si trova un “magistrato fascista”. Che volete farci? Non era il fascismo il male assoluto? Fini dixit. E allora..... Ed allora gli uomini probi non sono finiti in galera, ma godono del consenso universale.

E allora il buon Tremonti accenna a nazionalizzare le azioni della Banca d’Italia, ma Draghi si oppone. Draghi chi? Draghi, il Governatore della banca d’Italia che, evidentemente, preferisce essere amministrato dai suoi amici banchieri piuttosto che essere il “Governatore della Banca d’Italia degli Italiani”. E non venite a dirmi che Draghi è italiano. Con quella faccia, “Draghi è un banchiere”. E non fatemi dire altro.

In compenso Tremonti lancia la proposta sugli “EUROBOND” (2) e Draghi dispensa consigli al popolo sprecone (4). Roba da prenderlo a schiaffoni. Solo mi domando: Chi? Chi darà dei ceffoni a Draghi? Non Berlusconi e Tremonti, poveretti loro. Non Casini e Fini, troppo indaffarati a cercare di disarcionare Berlusconi. Per sostituirlo. Non le anime moribonde del centrosinistra, ridotti ad aggrapparsi a “Fini fascista” pur di sopravvivere.

Avete notato? Tutti strillano, tutti strepitano, tutti sproloquiano. Ma nessuno chiede: l’oro e le valute estere depositate nei forzieri della Banca d’Italia sono dei banchieri oppure degli Italiani? Lo chiedo io, ma non ottengo risposta. Perché non provate a chiederlo anche voi? Forse che noi Europei siamo preda delle banche e dei banchieri?

Antonino Amato

(1) LA RETE DI PROTEZIONE” in “Corriere della Sera” del 7 dicembre 2010, pagina 1;

(2) Eurobond e fondo salva Stati” in “Corriere della Sera” del 7 dicembre 2010, pagina 2;

(3) Da Merkel niente più concessioni al Club Med” in “Corriere della Sera” del 7 dicembre 2010, pagina 2;

(4) L’Euro non è in discussione” in “Corriere della Sera” del 7 dicembre 2010, pagina 3.

BERLINO DECIDE: SHOAH PER GLI EURODEBOLI

BERLINO DECIDE: SHOAH PER GLI EURODEBOLI

Tremonti e Juncker, appoggiati dal commissario finlandese Rehn, e riprendendo un suggerimento di Mario Monti, hanno messo allo scoperto le mire biecamente nazionaliste ed anti-europee di Berlino. L’altroieri, proponendo l’emissione da parte dell’UE di Eurobond, ossia di un debito pubblico comune per rinforzare l’Euro e concretare il progetto di unificazione finanziaria europea, trasformando l’Euro in moneta unica (anziché insieme di parità fisse quale ancora oggi è), hanno messo Berlino alle strette: sì o no. E Berlino ha detto chiaramente “no”. Anche al rafforzamento del fondo di difesa dell’Euro.

Gli Eurobond consentirebbero di finanziare il debito pubblico dei paesi dell’Eurozona a costi (tassi) inferiori degli attuali, quindi proteggerebbero l’Euro sui mercati internazionali e farebbero risparmiare i governi; consentirebbero più investimenti infrastrutturali e produttivi, quindi aiuterebbero a uscire dalla crisi e a recuperare produttività e competitività. Intanto, il mito del pareggio di bilancio ed epurazione dell’inflazione, come regola base dell’economia, viene oramai demistificato non solo oltreoceano, ma anche in Europa. Però l’interesse nazionalistico di Berlino è diverso: la Germania è già fuori dalla crisi (almeno nel comparto export) col suo + 3,6% di pil; già paga pochissimo, meno di tutti gli altri, sul proprio debito pubblico; già ha i mezzi per i suoi investimenti interni; e gli altri paesi europei è meglio che vadano a fondo, strangolati dal rigore di bilancio, dal debito pubblico, dalla concorrenza cinese, indiana, turca, e dalle virtuosità germaniche. Quando saranno al default, dovranno uscire dall’Euro. Oppure sarà la Germania a uscirne, come da tempo vuole la maggioranza dei Tedeschi. Dicendo no all’Eurobond, la Merkel ha gettato la maschera: i suoi intenti sono ostili e contrapposti. L’Euro, alla Germania, serve solo per sottomettere gli altri europei. E allora chiediamoci: conviene restare in un’UE cui cediamo la sovranità economica, se quell’Europa è dominata da una Germania che ha deciso di farci (economicamente) fuori? Ovviamente, no. Se dobbiamo prepararci a un imminente lotta contro la Germania per la sopravvivenza economica, bisogna toglierle le armi che le abbiamo indirettamente dato, e svegliarsi dall’europeismo idealizzante e cieco alla realtà.

Il conflitto entro la UE tra area germanica e area franco-mediterranea è un conflitto inevitabile, perché deriva direttamente dalle diverse mentalità e dai diversi comportamenti collettivi di queste due aree. Diversità che le rende disomogenee, con livelli diversi di efficienza, e perciò non amalgamabili tra loro, come l’acqua con l’olio, o il cerio coll’alluminio. L’Euro si salva se l’Europa si unisce economicamente e politicamente, ma le unioni politiche funzionano solo tra popoli con comportamenti politico-economici compatibili. Il progetto di unificazione europeo fallisce a causa di questa diversità, così come per analoga diversità fallisce il progetto di unificazione italiana. La Germania rifiuta di fare verso gli Eurodeboli ciò che il Lombardo-Veneto è costretto a fare verso il Meridione – Rampini docuit. I Tedeschi non vogliono fare la fine dei Padani. Popoli diversi per efficienza economica stanno meglio separati e senza monete comuni o cambi fissi tra le loro monete. I confini nazionali proteggono i popoli meno competitivi dando loro il tempo di adeguarsi agli altri, prima che questi li schiaccino. Se invece li si tiene legati insieme, si creano conflitti e sopraffazioni. I lavoratori tedeschi, per superare la crisi, hanno accettato con disciplina di rinunciare a una settimana di ferie e a fare un supplemento di orario non pagato – comportamenti impensabili in Italia. In area germanica, nel complesso, c’è un livello di rispetto delle regole e di fiducia reciproca, tra cittadini, imprese e istituzioni molto più alto che nell’Europa mediterranea, quindi c’è un livello di efficienza superiore, e di sprechi inferiore. E’ un organismo socio-economico che prevale sugli altri nella competizione darwiniana. L’area germanica può quindi permettersi una strettezza nella spesa pubblica, che per gli Eurodeboli implica impossibilità di uscire dalla crisi per carenza di fondi per investimenti infrastrutturali. Non può permettersi di farsi carico di compensare le inefficienze relative degli altri popoli, anche perché così facendo le incentiverebbe – esattamente come avviene nel caso dell’unificazione italiana o come avveniva nella cessata Jugoslavia. Ma poi per quale motivo dovrebbe aiutarli, quando ha interesse a soggiogarli e a neutralizzarli come concorrenti sul mercato globale, e a farne un mercato passivo per i propri prodotti?

L’odierno “nazionalismo tedesco” punta sul disprezzo della svalutazione della moneta legale (Euro), sull’inflazione “importata” (visto che quella interna è sotto controllo ed accettata dai cittadini / contribuenti), e sul ritorno ad una correlazione quasi perfetta tra la ricchezza creata nel periodo ed il tenore di vita dei cittadini. All’opinione pubblica tedesca ciò può essere fatto vivere e accettare come un ritorno del nazionalismo idealistico; ma, sul piano politico-economico, esso è l’antico “mercantilismo”, che fu un precursore della rivoluzione agricola e poi industriale inglese. Su questo piano si tiene conto del fatto che i costi inferiori di finanziamento mediante Eurobond sarebbero tali per i paesi deboli, ma i mercati, conoscendo la struttura di questo debito globale europeo, lo farebbero pagare di più dei bond tedeschi: l’aggravio ci sarà, anche se con velocità di trend (di segno algebrico diverso) differenti tra di loro, nel senso che i tedeschi vedrebbero aumentare la remunerazione di questi titoli, ma bisognerebbe capire quali saranno i risvolti per il contribuente tedesco. Le garanzie di rimborso di questi titoli dovrebbero essere “collettive e solidali tra tutti i paesi membri dell’UE”. In più, diciamo che sino al 2013 ci sarà una “tregua”, nel senso che i parametri di Maastricht lasceranno un po’ il tempo che trovano ... o quasi. Berlino giustamente paventa che, ad allora, i debiti pubblici degli Eurodeboli salgano molto, e di doversi far carico anche di questo incremento. Ed è proprio perché il piano tedesco per la Shoah degli Eurodeboli deriva da un’esigenza di tutela di interessi economici, razionali, e non da fattori irrazionali (orgoglio nazionale, egoismo, scarsa fratellanza e cose simili), che bisogna difendersi agendo prontamente sul piano oggettivo, anziché invocare principi morali di fratellanza ed europeismo – quelli sotto il cui miraggio propagandistico è stata costruita questa situazione.

L’ottimo Corradino Mineo, due giorni fa, su Rainews 24, ha ripreso e fatti propri i contenuti del mio precedente articolo, Un’Angela per la soluzione finale?, sottolineando come la Germania stia tornando al medesimo nazionalismo ostile ed egoista che, nel XX Secolo, la spinse a due guerre disastrose per sé e per l’Europa. Oggi le guerre non si combattono più con bombe, carri armati e fanterie, ma con la finanza. L’Euro e i vincoli finanziari di Maastricht danno alla Germania la possibilità di eliminare o sottomettere (sceglierà al momento giusto) le economie concorrenti. E lo sta facendo, metodicamente, sistematicamente, legalmente. La sua ideologia di non violenza, ostentata per qualche decennio, era solo un adattamento provvisorio alle circostanze. Il suo nuovo mito di superiorità è la purezza di bilancio e l’epurazione dell’inflazione. L’Eurozona è il suo K-Lager monetario dove ci sta affamando tutti. I vincoli di bilancio sono il suo filo spinato. Le sanzioni per chi sfora, sono le frustate per chi tenta di evadere. Corrono voci che Sarkozy sia ebreo. Ed è sicuramente vero, perché, di fronte a siffatti tedeschi, siamo ebrei tutti.

07.12.10

Marco Della Luna

mercoledì 8 dicembre 2010

Wealthiest .0000001% Hail Tax Deal

Wealthiest .0000001% Hail Tax Deal

Billionaires Praise Obama Move


GENEVA (The Borowitz Report) – President Obama’s deal to extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich drew rave reviews today from the wealthiest .0000001% of Americans, who pronounced the deal “a total home run.”

“When we first heard about the deal, we were like, this is too good to be true,” said multibillionaire Thurston Howell IV, a spokesman for the richest .0000001%. “But when our butlers read the plan aloud to us during the cocktail hour, we were incredibly stoked.”

The 29 plutocrats who make up the nation’s wealthiest .0000001% were at their annual meeting at Mr. Howell’s villa in Geneva, Switzerland when news of the President’s deal was first released.

“Bill Gates and Warren Buffett were the first to hear about it, and then the news just kind of trickled down, if I may use a favorite phrase of ours,” Mr. Howell said.

“The President deserves credit for recognizing what the wealthiest .0000001% have known for years,” he added. “Our cost of living has soared astronomically, especially when you consider how expensive it’s gotten to control the outcome of elections.”

In response to critics who have said that Mr. Obama’s decision to extend the tax cuts represents a change in his position, Mr. Howell said, “If I may coin a phrase, that’s change I can believe in.”

Elsewhere, to commemorate Pearl Harbor, Republicans attacked someone from Hawaii and won.

C'E PROFUMO DI NUOVO NELL'ARIA

"C'E PROFUMO DI NUOVO NELL'ARIA"
mi pare di percepire che gli italiani stiano acquisendo coscienza dei propri diritti e ne sono felice!
invito tutti gli italiani a chiedere la restituzione degli interessi anatocistici cioe'gli interessi sugli interessi che hanno pagato alle banche negli anni
e possono farlo da soli con una raccomandata con ricevuta di ritorno da mandare per conoscenza anche all'agenzia delle entrate, perche'se la banca non rispondesse
entro 120 giorni,per ogni giorno di ritardo,dovra'a pagare all'erario 516 euro.
Potete richiedere la restituzione degli interessi anatocistici,dall'inizio del rapporto, anche se avete chiuso il conto da tempo,purche'non siano trascorsi piu'di 10 anni.
Se non siete in grado di farlo da soli,chiamateci: vi aiuteremo volentieri.
wally bonvicini
FORUM ANTIUSURA BANCARIA
TUTELA DEL CONSUMATORE
parma
via Caselli 7
tel 0521 985610
cell.393 9090809

martedì 7 dicembre 2010

MODULI CHE DANNO DIRITTO A RECUPERO DECINE MILIARDI EURO

ANATOCISMO: LE SEZIONI UNITE DI CASSAZIONE (SENTENZA 24418 DEL 2/12/2010) INFLIGGONO ENNESIMA SCONFITTA A BANCHIERI CHE HANNO USURATO I CLIENTI

AGI, 03 DIC 2010

SU SITO ADUSBEF MODULI CHE DANNO DIRITTO A RECUPERO DECINE MILIARDI EURO.
Le Sezioni Unite Civili di Cassazione, Consigliere Relatore dott. Renato RORDORF, con la sentenza n. 24418 del 2 dicembre 2010,discussa dal vice presidente Adusbef avv.Antonio Tanza il 23 novembre, hanno respinto il ricorso della Banca Popolare Pugliese avverso la Sentenza n. 97 del 2009 emessa dalla Corte d’Appello di Lecce, in persona del Consigliere dott. Alessandro Silvestrini, relativamente ad una causa per la ripetizione di illegittime competenze bancarie avviata da un correntista salentino. I principi favorevoli agli utenti dei servizi bancari vittime dell'anatocismo (interessi sugli interessi) stabiliti dalla Suprema Corte di Cassazione,che assestano l’ennesimo duro colpo agli istituti di credito, costretti ora a restituire agli utentin usurati decine di miliardi di euro,stabiliscono che la prescrizione del diritto del correntista a ottenere la restituzione delle somme, illegittimamente addebitate dalla banca sul conto corrente, scatta dalla chiusura del rapporto e non dalla data della singola annotazione a debito sul conto, riaffermando il divieto assoluto dell’anatocismo trimestrale e annuale. Dopo aver già affermato l'illegittimità della capitalizzazione trimestrale degli interessi, la Suprema Corte ha stabilito, infatti, che né la banca, né il giudice possono applicare una capitalizzazione con una diversa periodicità. In questo modo ha dichiarato illegittima anche la capitalizzazione annuale del servizio del credito, ovvero gli interessi. Interessi Ultralegali, Commissioni di massimo scoperto, giorni di valuta “fittizi”, spese forfettarie ed anatocismo trimestrale ed annuale. Richiesta di rimborso. Istruzioni per l’uso. Le Sezioni unite civili della Corte di Cassazione, Consigliere Relatore Dott. Renato RORDORF, con la sentenza n. 24418 del 2 dicembre 2010 hanno respinto il ricorso della Banca Popolare Pugliese avverso la Sentenza n. 97 del 2009 emessa dalla Corte d’Appello di Lecce, in persona del Consigliere Dott. Alessandro Silvestrini, relativamente ad una causa per la ripetizione di illegittime competenze bancarie avviata da un correntista salentino, difeso dal vicepresidente di ADUSBEF, l’Avv. Antonio TANZA (www.studiotanza.it) e dall’Avv. Giuseppe NUZZACI. Le Sezioni unite hanno chiarito una volta per tutte, dando più tempo ai clienti che presentano istanza per la restituzione degli interessi anatocistici indebitamente versati che "dopo la conclusione di un contratto di apertura di credito bancario regolato in conto corrente, il correntista agisce per far dichiarare la nullità della clausola che prevede la corresponsione di interessi anatocistici e per la ripetizione di quanto pagato indebitamente a questo titolo, il termine di prescrizione decennale cui tale azione di ripetizione è soggetta decorre, qualora i versamenti eseguiti dal correntista in pendenza del rapporto abbiano avuto solo funzione ripristìnatoria della provvista, dalla data in cui è stato estinto il saldo di chiusura dei conto in cui gli interessi non dovuti sono stati registrati." Il termine decennale di prescrizione per richiedere alla banca gli interessi anatocistici indebitamente pagati decorre dalla data in cui è stato estinto il saldo di chiusura del conto ed interessa tutte le operazioni operate dal correntista dall’apertura del conto alla sua chiusura. Non solo. Sul fronte capitalizzazione degli interessi il Collegio esteso ha rafforzato un principio già sancito dal legislatore e secondo cui "l'interpretazione data dal giudice di merito all'art. 7 del contratto di conto corrente bancario, stipulato dalle parti in epoca anteriore al 22 aprile 2000, secondo la quale la previsione di capitalizzazione annuale degli interessi contemplata dal primo comma di detto articolo si riferisce ai soli interessi maturati a credito del correntista, essendo invece la capitalizzazione degli interessi a debito prevista dal comma successivo su base trimestrale, è conforme ai criteri legali d'interpretazione del contratto ed, in particolare, a quello che prescrive l'interpretazione sistematica delle clausole; con la conseguenza che, dichiarata la nullità della surriferita previsione negoziale di capitalizzazione trimestrale, per contrasto con il divieto di anatocismo stabilito dall'art. 1283 c.c. (il quale osterebbe anche ad l'eventuale previsione negoziale di capitalizzazione annuale), gli interessi a debito del correntista debbono essere calcolati senza operare capitalizzazione alcuna".
Insomma il correntista può recuperare tutto le somme che la banca ha illegittimamente acquisito dalla prima operazione sino alla chiusura del conto, purché questo non sia chiuso da oltre dieci anni.
Inoltre è vietata ogni forma di anatocismo: è, dunque, vietato l’anatocismo trimestrale e quello annuale.
1) Quali conti sono interessati e per quale periodo? Sono coinvolti tutti i conti che abbiano presentato saldi passivi per qualsivoglia motivo. I conti attivi non sono interessati. Il periodo interessato al ricalcalo/rimborso va dall’apertura del conto alla chiusura.
2) Se il conto è stato chiuso? Non si ha diritto al rimborso se il conto è stato chiuso oltre 10 anni fa. Se il conto è stato chiuso da non oltre 10 anni il diritto non è prescritto.
3) Che cosa si deve fare? Si richieda il rimborso alla banca utilizzando il fac simile predisposto da Adusbef e presente sul sito www.adusbef.it (cliccare sulla voce “MODULI” alla prima riga sotto il logo della pagina iniziale).
4) Se la banca non risponde? Se la banca non risponde o non rimborsa si può decidere di citarla in giudizio.
5) Da quando può essere richiesto il rimborso? Il ricalcalo può essere preteso a partire dal 1942, comunque da quando il conto è andata in rosso, purché si abbia documentazione bancaria originale probante (estratti conto).
6) Se non si ha documentazione? Si può richiederla alla banca tenendo presente che:
1) E’ possibile richiedere copia degli estratti conto (punto 4° dell’art. 119 del Testo Unico Bancario) ma a titolo oneroso. Occorre cioè indicare nella lettera di richiesta in che modo la banca potrà introitare le sue commissioni per il servizio richiesto (ad esempio, indicando il numero di conto da addebitare, o pagando allo sportello bancario prima di ritirare copia della documentazione).
Attenzione. Le banche impongono anche 10 euro per foglio: occorre informarsi e valutare il costo complessivo della nostra richiesta. Chiedere estratti conto per più anni comporta una spesa di cui essere consapevoli.
2) La banca deve produrre copia entro 90 giorni dal nostro ordine.
3) Per legge la banca è tenuta a conservare per 10 anni la documentazione inerente i conti correnti. Pertanto, se non abbiamo documentazione, la nostra richiesta non può che interessare gli ultimi 10 anni.
7) Come calcolare l’entità del rimborso? Esistono in commercio software per calcolare con precisione l’entità del rimborso. Per avere indicazioni è possibile sentire la sede nazionale di Adusbef (06.4818632 – 06.4818633) o la Vicepresidenza Adusbef (adsubef@studiotanza.it)
8) Se lo sportello è passato ad altra banca? Si farà richiesta alla banca che ha applicato indebitamente l’anatocismo: se il conto è stato acquisito (per la vendita dell’agenzia) da altra banca si farà richiesta ad entrambe per i periodi coinvolti (alla banca X dal… al…., alla banca Y dal…. al….)
9) Se sono stati aperti più conti con la stessa banca? E’ opportuno inviare tante richieste di rimborso per quanti sono stati i conti coinvolti.
10) Dove reperire aggiornamenti? Si consiglia di consultare periodicamente il sito Adusbef ( www.adusbef.it ): è la fonte più aggiornata. Per le sentenze già emesse, sul sito www.studiotanza.it possono consultarsi più di 150 sentenze in materia.

Roma, 3.12.10

Ecco il testo da inviare alla banca presso cui è radicato il conto per richiedere il rimborso delle somme illegittimamente percepite attraverso l’applicazione del calcolo anatocistico, definitivamente giudicato illegittimo dalla sentenza della Cassazione n° 24418 del 2 dicembre 2010

Lettera Raccomandata

Spett.le BANCA ____________________________________
DIREZIONE GENERALE
Via / P.zza ____________________________ n. __

Lettera semplice
Spett.le BANCA D’ITALIA - UFFICIO VIGILANZA
Via Nazionale n. 91
(00184) ROMA

Lettera semplice
Spett.le ADUSBEF Onlus
Via Farini n. 62
(00185) ROMA

Spett.le VICEPRESIDENZA ADUSBEF Onlus
Corso Porta Luce n. 20
(73013) Galatina – LE -

Oggetto: contratto apertura di credito con scoperto di conto corrente n° _________________, acceso in data _____________ presso la Filiale di ___________- Ripetizione degli interessi anatocistici (capitalizzati trimestralmente) ed altre indebite competenze.

Io sottoscritto ___________________________________________, nato a __________________ il ____/____/_____, residente in __________________ alla Via ______________________________ n. ____, con telefono n. ___________________, con posta elettronica ___________________, anche nella qualità di associato ad ADUSBEF (Associazione Difesa Utenti Servizi Bancari Finanziari Postali Assicurativi), con sede in Roma alla Via Farini n. 62, nella persona del Presidente Senatore Dott. Elio LANNUTTI , espongo quanto segue:

1) tra il Vs. Spett.le istituto di credito e il sottoscritto è stato stipulato un contratto di apertura di credito con scoperto in conto corrente, indicato in oggetto, nel quale sono confluite anche altre competenze di rapporti accessori;

2) il Vs. Istituto, da quando il conto in questione ha presentato saldi passivi, ha capitalizzato, tra l'altro, interessi (ultralegali, commissioni e competenze varie) in aperta violazione della norma imperativa di cui all'art. 1283 c.c. (ma anche gli artt, 1346 e 14182 c.c.) , nonostante che le sentenze della Corte di Cassazione emesse in dal marzo del 1999 e la sentenza della Corte Costituzionale n. 425 del 17 ottobre 2000 (che ha visto ADUSBEF coinvolta in prima persona con il proprio associato Miglietta P., rappresentato dal Vicepresidente Avv. Antonio Tanza) avessero sancito la nullità della occulta pratica della moltiplicazione esponenziale geometrica dell'interesse;

3) la Corte di Cassazione a Sezioni Unite con la sentenza n° 24418 del 2 dicembre 2010, ponendo fine alle infondate aspettative degli Istituti bancarie, ha definitivamente sancito che la capitalizzazione degli interessi, imposta fin dall'emanazione delle prime norme bancarie uniformi (1952) dal sistema bancario sui conti affidati è illegittima fin dalla sua prima applicazione.

Tutto ciò premesso,

1) si invita e diffida il Vs. istituto a restituire tempestivamente tutte le somme illegittimamente applicate e trattenute per i periodi in cui il conto ha presentato un saldo passivo sino al momento in cui il saldo è tornato attivo (decorrendo la prescrizione decennale del diritto alla ripetizione dell'indebito solo dalla data di eventuale chiusura del rapporto) entro e non oltre a giorni quindici dalla ricezione della presente, dovendo in caso di silenzio o dissenso recuperare l'indebito seguendo la via contenziosa;

2) si invita e diffida la Banca d'Italia, che già avrebbe dovuto attivarsi per evitare la formazione di un cartello bancario in aperta violazione di una norma imperativa del nostro ordinamento, ad attivarsi e vigilare affinché le banche che prevedevano nei loro moduli contrattuali l'anatocismo (cioè tutte) restituiscano il maltolto senza costringere l'utente a rivolgersi alla Magistratura. Si invia la presente ad ADUSBEF affinché curi le ragioni dell’esponente e per controllare il contenuto della risposta che la Banca andrà a fornire.

Data________________________ Firma_________________________________

Comments on statements made in New York recently by Mervyn King

Comments on statements made in New York recently by Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England


King: There is no simple answer to the to important to fail nature of banks.

Dick Eastman: King is interested in reconciling the values of loyalty to fellow financial elites that would extend to "lender of last resort" bailout expediencies with the desired consolidation to monopolization that is necessary for the attaining of the goal. Thus, "should Fed trillions go to all of us or just to the best of us?" Obviously the answer is going to be to cut off the lesser betters at the margin -- trimming the edges as it were, letting them fail slowly, with no indication of all that is intended to be trimmed. That way there will be consensus among the elite, those favoring allowing of a failure in the present crisis not realizing that they will be the failures of the second crisis. The same tactic is used against the lower classes. The depression swallows up your neighbor's wage and job and house and standard of living -- but of course he was the irresponsible one, he was not a hard worker, he was wreckless about borrowing etc. And so people watch their neighbours cut down by financial high crimes, not thinking that it can and will eventually spread to them. King will not be an easy conversion.

You will note too that the paper is not about reform to replace mechanisms causing
depressions which transfer of wealth (interest owed and real assets attached) to
the financier/speculator class. It is about how to carry on with stability for banking -- that is without bankers worrying about whether they will be on the margin where failure is allowed. I would say that the entire letter is a disingenuous reassurance that near marginal people in finance, thanks to this or that measure he is proposing, are not in danger of being sacrificed as "common enough to be allowed to fail."
Please notice that he says his goal is to make the banking system more stable,
not to make the domestic economy of Britain more stable or markets more stable
-- which would require addressing the universal propensity to household-production loop deflation and recession due to flow of loan injections being less than flow of principal and interest payment leakages. That whatever is built up in the household-production loop by debt-financed stimulus investment and development, will be swallowed up when leakage overtakes injection. This mechanism is the basis of the power of the organized economics-savvy minority over the unorganized majority who think banks lend people's savings and that depressions happens because bankers extended too much credit to bad risks and "print" too much money.

Note how King appeals to Bagehot in asserting that banking crises are endemic to the market economy -- when in fact they are only endemic to fractional reserve
banking or any system where the creation or destruction of new money balances
is in the hands of the financial sector. Crises result from usury. Usury and fractional reserve banking are a combination in which deflation is constant, and reflations are only moments when a new generation of machinery and technology can be developed in a boom of household-production credit financed dynamism, which, after all the machines and new innovations appear, they can be harvested by the Moneyed Elite by a contraction of credit, deflation, recession, bankruptcies, and the buying up of all that has been built with the money the elite has hoarded exogenous of the household-production loop -- which is their milk cow.

King: Maturity transformation brings economic benefits but it creates real economic
costs. The problem is that the costs do not fall on those who enjoy the benefits. The damaging externalities created by excessive maturity transformation and risk-taking must be internalised.

DE: King talks about leverage up, high liquidity down and the replacement of lending to businesses for investment with speculative 'financial engineering" securitization and derivatives gaming -- gaming in the sense of uncertainty as to who gains and who ends up with paying for the all the fun. With no mention of the impact of this on the functioning and well-being of the commoner household-production loop.

King: A market economy has proved to be the most reliable means for a society to expand its standard of living. But ever since the Industrial Revolution we have not cracked the problem of how to ensure a more stable banking system.

DE: No admission that the banking system, stable or unstable, makes the
household-production loop unstable and chronically failing the commoners who rely on it. What is the difference between a stable economy (without recessions and debt-financed short-lived stimuli that results in transfer of new assets to the creditor) and a stable banking system -- where the household-production sectors can be "milked" by economic holocaust without disturbing roughness for the financier "farmers."

King: We know that there will always be sharp and unpredictable movements in expectations, sentiment and hence valuations of financial assets.

DE: But the problem is why everything goes bad or good at the same time!!!
This is because of big macroeconomic moves initiated by changes of policy by the city. Essentially there is a tacit agreement among colluding bankers of the City, Wall Street, Shanghai Zurich, Paris, Frankfort and so forth to switch from planting mode (where easy credit leads to build-up with new technology and into newly developing lands) to harvest mode, where the natural-to-the- system excess of leakage of principal plus interest over injection of investment loans will lead to the deflation, recession, distress sales and foreclosures during which the elite, with their exogenous holdings of money, can enter the devastated household-production loop and buy up all of the assets worth having.

What are the chances that King would admit to that? What would be the personal consequences for him within his class if he were confess this truth that is so unpopular to those who gain so much by remaining blind to it.

King: They represent our best guess as to what the future holds, and views learn to live with. But changes in expectations can create havoc with the banking system because it relies so heavily on transforming short-term debt into long-term risky assets.

DE: Here is the rationalization of the sinner in full display. Instead of looking at the mechanism comparing the flows loans injected into the household-production loop with flow taken out - he diverts attention to the autonomous expectations of the human brain -- as if expectations are the place to start, as if they are variable that really explains anything. An expectation is like a want. Interests and lending are such and such because of expectations, is like saying I ate the whole chocolate cream pie because I wanted to.

Sometimes you "expect" a man to fall down the stairs because you know you are going to give him a shove. I spoke of the policy -- the few individuals in banking who determine when there will be the season of sowing and when will be the season of harvest -- that is, when a household-and- production boom and when harvest in the form of a bust ending in transfer of assets to the creditors.

King: For a society to base its financial system on alchemy is a poor advertisement for its rationality.

DE: One of the great advances in economics was the development of "rational
expectations theory" -- the idea that eventually economic man catches on to inflation -- and comes to anticipate the inflation trick -- and adds an inflation premium to all of his thoughts of the future. This is of course adaptation. And that puts things in perspective. Expectation is adaptation. Adaptation does not cause events, it is a response to events. Our finally learning how the deflation machine works is the beginning of our adaptation, the arrival of our "rational expectations" of what this system meets out to us -- its changing cycles of scam finally seen for what they are.

King: Change is, I believe, inevitable. The question is only whether we can think our way through to a better outcome before the next generation is damaged by a future and bigger crisis.

DE: Remember -- he is talking about the instability of the banking world -- the fact that some of their class get cut down at the margin. He is not talking about averting depressions or the debt-financed stimuli that will create a boom of construction and the inevitable erosion of purchasing power from net leakage to usury that will end with more debt slaves (bond wealth) and transfer of boom assets to the moneyed class.

King: This crisis has already left a legacy of debt to the next generation. We must not leave them the legacy of a fragile banking system too.

DE: He is pretty accepting and forgiving of that mountain of debt burden which is the mountain wealth owed to his class. He is resigned to that as grim necessity -- the way of things, you know -- but about this failing of banks within the brotherhood of the craft, this instability and uncertainty that banks might fail -- especially after all of their commoner competitor banks have been wiped away by the present depression -- that of course must stop. The man is hopeless.

My question for you is, why do you try to convince such people of the truth of what they know too well but are afraid to admit from shame and from the fear of having the game found out and an end put to it. You need to raise the commoner's rational expectations -- so they can break out of their loop, grab the golden goose of the upper loop and bring it down the beanstalk so the people below can live happily ever after.

I have explained the principles on which a successful reform of the system should
rest.

DE: Successful in continuing the burdening the population with debt through debt-finance stimulation that in the end – when principal and interest flowing out to you from available purchasing power within the domestic economy to you exceeds by far the amount of the loans you have allowed for stimulus. Your class has mountains of fixed payment debt owed to you and the best way for you to increase you wealth is not by investing at all, but rather by deflating the domestic economy so that the value of the mountains owed to you becomes bigger, the burden of
debt on the public more crushing – while all you have done is engineer deflation
by calling in loans, by collecting compound interest and by failing to honestly acknowledge the net anti-stimulus that in the end is always far greater (due to interest payment on top of principal payment) that the so-called (but only short-term) “stimulus” that you so graciously financed at interest.

You are the plague of the world and no economist at any university or bank or
government bureau either knows it or will honestly admit it. You are simply another of these prostitutes who has reached the top of the whore house.

It is a program that will take many years, if not decades.

DE: Since you have no regard for your inferiors, for the commoners, for the gentiles, for “ordinary” people and are happy receiving trillions of their wealth by deflating their currency as their indebtedness to you grows under the present system -- why would you possibly want to change things now? Social crediters could end the depression in very short order, but it would mean repudiation of all claims you have on debtors – since fraud vitiates all contracts and you have been operating a crooked table; repudiation of debt and the ending of fractional reserve banking and of money creation by the financial sector. Social Credit instead would initiate new money in households – so that household demand would, as it should, direct
entrepreneurs in organizing production; and so that that same strong household
demand fed by social credit would reward better products and less cost with
profit, actually rewarding the producer where your usury system has robbed even
the most brilliant at serving the consumer. A free society with a profit and loss system cannot really survive with your usury. You have not been responsible for industrialization and progress and plenty -- those things have advanced as far as they have in spite of you – and can go much further and faster to a better future without you.

But, as Bagehot concluded in Lombard Street, “I have written in vain if I require to
say now that the problem is delicate, that the solution is varying and difficult, and that the result is inestimable to us all.”

DE: Yes, inestimable to all – but of inestimable unearned windfall transfer of wealth
through engineered deflation – for your class and inestimable misery and pain
of debt that wells on our backs until we are crushed and die early for my class.

You know it and all of those around you know it. My class does not know it. It must be by far your greatest fear that one day they will.

Dick Eastman - Yakima, Washington

THE DICK EASTMAN INTERVIEW - discussing in the last third of the interview of the 2nd hour -- who deflation is the slave driver of the common man -- how by keeping money tight and draining as much money from the country -- even by selling you their gold to get our dollars out of the domestic economy loop -- the multiply the size of our debt burden -- while denying that deflation is taking place. But of course there is deflation. All of our distressed and foreclosed properties are selling at deflation prices. The gas and food we buy are not the result of monetary price inflation, but rather by monopoly pricing practices of the oil companies and agribusinesses and other monopoly corporations and combinations -- since our small domestic competition for them have been ruined and driven out by their deflation machine. There is no inflation. Deflation is killing us and gold is the handmaiden of deflation. Their wealth is our debt slavery and deflation makes ever heavier the chain around our necks.

12/04/2010 Saturday -
1st Hour: With Peter Hebert.
2nd Hour: With
Dick Eastman.

http://www.americanfreedomradio.com/Barrett_10.html
"After a shaky start you picked up steam and put out a lot of important information. " -- Barrett

What social credit it can make this world a happy debt-free place.
http://www.citizensamericaparty.org/socialcredit.htm

ANATOCISMO E PRESCRIZIONE CONTRATTO APERTURA DI CREDITO

- Diritto bancario, diritto dei consumatori, diritto dei contratti e delle obbligazioni:
CASSAZIONE SU CIVILI:
ANATOCISMO E PRESCRIZIONE CONTRATTO APERTURA DI CREDITO

La Cassazione ha formulato i seguenti principi di diritto in merito ai rapporti banca - correntista.

- Sull’illegittimità dell’anatocismo annuale ha affermato che:

“L’interpretazione data dal Giudice di merito all’art. 7 del contratto di conto corrente bancario, stipulato dalle parti in epoca anteriore al 22 aprile 2000, secondo la quale la previsione di capitalizzazione annuale degli interessi contemplata dal primo comma di detto articolo si riferisce solo ad interessi maturati a credito del correntista, essendo invece la capitalizzazione degli interessi a debito previsto dal comma successivo su base trimestrale, è conforme ai criteri legali di interpretazione del contratto, ed in particolare, a clausole: con la conseguenza che, dichiarata la nullità della surriferita previsione negoziale di capitalizzazione trimestrale, per contrasto con il divieto di anatocismo stabilito dall’art. 1283 c.c. (il quale osterebbe anche ad un’eventuale previsione negoziale di capitalizzazione annuale), gli interessi a debito del correntista debbono essere calcolati senza operare capitalizzazione alcuna.”

- Sulla prescrizione, secondo la Cassazione:

"Se, dopo la conclusione del contratto di apertura di credito bancario regolato in conto corrente, il correntista agisce per far dichiarare la nullità della clausola che prevede la corresponsione di interessi anatocistici e per la ripetizione di quanto pagato indebitamente a questo titolo, ii termine di prescrizione decennale cui tale azione di ripetizione è soggetta decorre, qualora i versamenti eseguiti dal correntista in pendenza del rapporto abbiano avuto solo funzione ripristinatoria della provvista, dalla data in cui è stato estinto il saldo di chiusura del conto in cui gli interessi non dovuti sono stati registrati".

Non può, pertanto, ipotizzarsi, il decorso del termine di prescrizione del diritto alla ripetizione se non da quando sia intervenuto un atto giuridico, definibile come pagamento, che l’attore pretende essere indebito, perché prima di quel non è configurabile alcun diritto di ripetizione.

Un versamento eseguito dal cliente su un contro il cui passivo non abbia superato il limite dell’affidamento concesso dalla banca con l’apertura di credito non ha né lo scopo né l’effetto di soddisfare la pretesa della banca medesima di vedersi restituire le somme date a mutuo (credito che, in quel momento, non sarebbe scaduto né esigibile), bensì quello di riespandere la misura nell’affidamento utilizzabile nuovamente in futura dal correntista. Non è, dunque, un pagamento, perché non soddisfa il creditore ma amplia (o ripristina) la facoltà di indebitamento del correntista; la circostanza che, in quel momento il saldo passivo del conto sia influenzato dai interessi legittimamente fin li computati si traduce in un’indebita limitazione di tale facoltà di maggiore indebitamento, ma nel pagamento anticipato di interessi. Di pagamento, nella descritta situazione, potrà dunque parlarsi soltanto dopo che, conclusosi il rapporto di apertura di credito in conto corrente, la banca abbia estratto dal correntista la restituzione del saldo finale, nel computo del quale risultino compresi interessi non dovuti, e, perciò, da restituire se corrisposti dal cliente all’atto della chiusura del conto.

Per ulteriori approfondimenti leggi: Ancora un passo in avanti verso il difficile transito dal "diritto delle banche" al "diritto bancario" .

(Corte di Cassazione - Sezioni Unite, Sentenza 2 dicembre 2010, n. 24418)

[Avv. Antonio Tanza ]

Two Can Play the Extortion Game in Congress

Two Can Play the Extortion Game in Congress

By Matthew Rothschild, The Progressive, December 6, 2010

Before the Democrats cave in to the Republicans’ extortion gambit for the rich, the least the Dems could do is to bargain harder.

Not just for the long-term unemployed this go round, but for a permanent extension of unemployment benefits, especially given the no-end-in-sight reality of no jobs.

But let’s not stop there.

Let’s actually create jobs for these 15 million Americans and more. The Dems should propose that the government hire the unemployed to put up solar panels on every government building in the country, and repair the bridges, and fix the roads.

Let’s put that on the bargaining table in exchange for tax cuts for the rich.

And while we’re at it, let’s put on the table raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour, which 80 percent of the American public support.

And let’s put on the table a one-year moratorium on foreclosures.

And let’s put on the table a $200 increase for everyone on Social Security, whose incomes have been frozen over the last two years.

And let’s put on the table, as economist James Galbraith recommends, immediately lowering, nor raising, the retirement, so as to free up jobs for younger people.

And let’s put on the table providing more funds for the states, so they don’t have to lay people off or kill people, as they’re doing now in Arizona with Medicaid patients on the transplant list.

How about a little push back here? How about testing just how desperate Republicans are to reward their wealthy base?

My hunch is they’re pretty desperate.

So rather than have the Republicans extort benefits for the top 2 percent, let’s extort benefits for everyone else, and let’s get this economy going in the process.

If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story "Keeping Perspective on North Korea."

Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter

lunedì 6 dicembre 2010

ITALY-RUSSIA RELATIONS: THE VIEW FROM ROME

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NOFORN
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR INR/I

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/19/2019
TAGS: PREL PGOV ENRG EPET RS IT
SUBJECT: ITALY-RUSSIA RELATIONS: THE VIEW FROM ROME
(C-RE8-02675)

REF: a) 08 STATE 134386 b) ROME 451

CLASSIFIED BY: Ronald P. Spogli, Ambassador, for reasons 1.4 (b), (d).

1. (U) This is a joint Political and Economic Section cable.

2. (C/NF) Summary. Italy's relationship with Russia is
complex, encompassing historical ideological sympathies,
geostrategic calculations, commercial pressure, energy
dependence, and personal relationships between top leaders.
The combination of these factors creates a strong tendency
for Italy's foreign policy to be highly receptive to Russian
efforts to gain greater political influence in the EU and
to support Russia's efforts to dilute American security
interests in Europe. In its relationship with Russia, energy
is the most important bilateral issue and the quest for
stable energy supplies from Russia frequently forces
Italy to compromise on security and political issues.
A not insignificant concomitant factor is PM
Berlusconi's desire to be seen as an important
European player on foreign policy, leading him to
go where others dare not. End summary.

Roots of Italian Russophilia: Ideology on the Left, a
Long-Standing Market Opportunity on the Right
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

3. (C/NF) Until the 2008 parliamentary elections, the Italian
Communist party and various leftist splinter groups were a
permanent fixture of the Italian political scene. Throughout the Cold
War members of the Italian communist movement maintained close
ties with the Soviet Union, other communist countries, and many
communist revolutionary movements. Unlike many other communist parties
around the world, the Italian communist movement remained
unapologetic in its continued belief in Marxism-Leninism as a viable
economic alternative to capitalism. While many European leftist
intellectuals recognize that -- aside from an authoritarian approach to
governing - - Putin's Russia bears little resemblance to Communist
ideals, this fact has not deterred Italian communists and other radical
left politicians from being openly pro-Russia on the basis of
ideological solidarity. This, combined with the advanced average age o
most high-level Italian politicians (65-70), prevents many in the
far left of Italy's political spectrum from moving beyond a worldview
developed (and apparently frozen) during the Cold War.

4. (C/NF) Throughout the Cold War, Italian business interests
frequently skirted the line of what was appropriate in their
pursuit of the Soviet market. After the collapse of the Soviet
Union, the explosion of consumer wealth in Russia created massive deman
for high-end and luxury Italian exports. From 1998 to 2007
Italian exports to Russia grew by 230 percent, from 2.7 billion Euros
to 9.5 Billion. Many of Italy's leading businessmen began to see
Russia as a limitless market that could substitute for loss of export
revenue from other parts of the world. These businessmen maintain
strong ties to the pro-business, free-market-oriented politicians on
the right, including the most visible patron of Italy's business
elite: PM Silvio Berlusconi.

Putin Most Influential Figure in Italy's Russia Policy
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - -

5. (C/NF) While Italy's political parties, the MFA and ENI
exert some influence on Italy's Russia policy, by far the most importan
factor is the personal attention Putin devotes to the relationship.
By our reckoning, Putin has held more bilateral meetings with
sitting Italian PMs in the recent past than any other world leader.
He was the first world leader to meet with Berlusconi after the 2008
elections, arriving in Sardegna to visit the PM designate
before the latter had even been sworn in. Berlusconi believes that
Putin is his close and personal friend and continues to have more
contact with Putin than with any other world leader. During the Georgi
crisis, Berlusconi spoke to Putin on a daily basis for a period of
almost a week. The basis of the friendship is hard to determine, but
many interlocutors have told us that Berlusconi believes that
Putin, a fellow 'tycoon', trusts Berlusconi more than other European
leader. (A contact in the PM's office told us that their frequent
meetings are accompanied by exchanges of lavish gifts). Berlusconi
admires Putin's macho, decisive, and authoritarian governing style,
which the Italian PM believes matches his own. From the Russian side,
it appears that Putin has devoted much energy to developing
Berlusconi's trust.

6. (S/NF) Contacts in both the opposition center-left PD

Rome 00000097 002 of 005


party and Berlusconi's own PdL party, however, have hinted at a more
nefarious connection. They believe that Berlusconi and his cronies are
profiting personally and handsomely from many of the energy
deals between Italy and Russia. The Georgian ambassador in Rome
has told us that the GOG believes Putin has promised Berlusconi a
percentage of profits from any pipelines developed by Gazprom in
coordination with ENI. Whenever we raise the issue of Russia and the P
with our contacts in PdL, Berlusconi's own party, they have usually
pointed us to Valentino Valentini, a member of parliament and somewhat
shadowy figure who operates as Berluscon's key man on Russia, albeit
with no staff or even a secretary. Valentini, a Russian-speaker who
travels to Russia several times per month, frequently appears at
Berlusconi's side when he meets other world leaders. What he does in
Moscow during his frequent visits is unclear but he is widely
rumored to be looking after Berlusconi's business interests in Russia.
Our contacts uniformly deem Valentini, a multilingual former
interpreter, close to Berlusconi with regard to Russia, but not a polic
person.

7. (C/NF) All of our interlocutors - xxxxxxxxxxxx - report that Berlusconi determines
Italy's policy on Russia single-handedly, neither seeking nor
accepting counsel. Virtually all are reluctant to confront the PM even
when he is at his worst on Russia. In November 2008, after a
disastrous press conference in which, inter alia, the PM described NATO
expansion, recognition of Kosovo's independence, and missile
defense as "U.S. provocations" of Russia, GOI officials did a classic
duck- and-cover. In response to our objections, MFA and PM staff
sheepishly directed us to the PM himself, rather than deliver
the unpleasant news to him that he had angered not only the
Americans but other members of the Contact Group for the Balkans, not t
mention the Czechs and Poles. Even FM Frattini admits to wielding no
influence on Berlusconi on Russia. During an early September
visit to Italy, former VP Cheney confronted Frattini on Italy's
very public and unhelpful stance on the Georgia conflict. A subdued
Frattini noted that, while he had strong opinions on the issue, he
nevertheless received his marching orders from the PM.

8. (C/NF) Distressingly, Berlusconi treats Russia policy as
he does his domestic political affairs - tactically and day-to-day.
His overwhelming desire is to remain in Putin's good graces, and
he has frequently voiced opinions and declarations that have been
passed to him directly by Putin. One such example: in the aftermath of
the Georgia crisis, Berlusconi began (and continues) to insist
that Georgia was the aggressor and that the GOG was responsible
for several hundred civilian deaths in South Ossetia.

No Institutional Leadership on Russia
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

9. (C/NF) Trying to determine who might have some influence
on Berlusconi's Russia policy is not an easy task. One thing is
certain, however - it is not the foreign policy institutions
of the GOI. FM Frattini is widely seen as only the messenger for PM
Berlusconi's Russia policy - indeed he termed himself as much
to VP Cheney during the latter's September 2008 visit to Rome.
Within the professional ranks, resources and expertise are scant.
Italy's MFA contains only one full-time diplomat assigned to cover
Russia and the countries of the former Soviet Union: the Office
Director. The Deputy Office Director position and single Desk Officer
position assigned to cover all the countries of the FSU are vacant.
Italy's dire budget situation is likely to prevent the hiring of
additional staff at the MFA for at least two years, according to one MF
source. The Office Director's direct supervisor - the A/S equivalent
- is also responsible for the Balkans and the rest of Europe, but
she, like Frattini, appears to have little or no input to GOI
Russia policy. The PM's staff does not fare much better. The
Office of the Diplomatic Advisor is thinly staffed - with only one
officer assigned to each geographic region. The position covering
Russia is staffed by a midlevel diplomat who is in the process of being
transferred. No replacement is likely to be named. As a result, the
officer covering the Middle East (also the deputy for the office)
will be forced to take on those duties in addition to his already
overwhelming portfolio and management duties.

10. (C/NF) In 2008 the MFA undertook an effort to produce a
long-term foreign policy strategy for the GOI. In a paper entitled
"Rapporto 2020" the MFA outlined its strategic vision for the next
decade and a half. The document notes that geostrategic realities have
created the need for Italy to adapt its foreign policy with regard to
Russia and calls for Italy to seek 'a privileged relationship' with
Moscow in order to press its overwhelmingly preeminent bilateral
concern: energy.

Rome 00000097 003 of 005



Energy Becomes Key Bilateral Issue
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

11. (C/NF) With virtually no domestic energy reserves, no
domestic nuclear power, and an ambitious parastatal energy company,
Italy's key bilateral concern with Russia has become the quest for
long-term guarantees of energy supplies. The GOI has supported ENI and
other energy giants' efforts to create a unique partnership with
Russia and Gazprom for long-term cooperation. ENI, Italy's most
prominent energy parastatal, wields immense political power; its
business strategy has focused on complicated geopolitical environments
generally perceived as overly risky by many of its international
competitors. ENI's lobbying efforts vis-(-vis the GOI are better
funded than most government offices. It hosts one diplomatic
advisor assigned from the MFA. Going by press reports alone, we
would judge that PM Berlusconi grants its director, Paolo Scaroni, as
much access as he does his own FM.xxxxxxxxxxxx. Members of political
parties on both sides of the aisle have told us that ENI is
one of the leading financial contributors to Italy's many
think-tanks - many of which produce public diplomacy discussions and
events on the importance of Italy-Russia relations. At one such event
in 2007, a conference on Central Asia, representatives from ENI and
Edison were given 30 minutes each to speak, while the four Foreign
Ministers and Deputy Foreign Minister of five Central Asian former
Soviet states were all crammed into a single hour. There is even
suspicion that ENI maintains journalists on its payroll.

12. (C/NF) Members of political parties from both sides of
the aisle have told us that ENI does not limit its dialogue with the
government to energy issues. One member of the opposition center-left
PD party told poloffs that ENI's presence in Russia exceeds that of
Italy's understaffed embassy. While it is unclear how much policy
coordination occurs between ENI and the Russian political
structure, the same PD party members noted that ENI had as much contact
with Russian political and economic leaders as the embassy, if not
more, and political messages were frequently passed through such
commercial/economic channels. Back in Rome, ENI maintains
strong contacts with members of the Italian parliament - something
the MFA does not do (apart from requested briefings to members of the
foreign affairs committees).

An Energy Policy without the Policy
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

13. (C/NF) ENI and other energy giants have managed to press
their case quite effectively within the highest ranks of the GOI.
Italian leaders on both sides of the aisle seem strangely unconcerned
about dependence on Russian energy. They point out that Italy
depended on Russian coal during the darkest days of the Cold War with n
dire consequence. Italians are also lulled into complacency by
the fact that geographic proximity to North African resources means
that they are far less dependent on Russia than are the Germans or the
former Eastern bloc countries.

14. (C/NF) During a March 2008 visit to ENI Headquarters
embassy staff were given a briefing on ENI's Russian energy
operations (available on Embassy Rome's Classified web site). ENI's
view of the European energy situation was disturbingly similar to that
of GAZPROM and the Kremlin, and at times laced with rhetorical
flourishes reminiscent of Soviet-era double-speak: according to ENI,
the real threat to Western Europe's energy security is not Russia --
it is Ukraine. The real solution to Europe's energy insecurity,
according to ENI, lies in more direct pipeline connections to Russian
gas fields and a need for pipelines that do not go through
Ukraine - the rationale for the South Stream and Nord Stream pipelines
(ref b).
ENI's engineering arm hopes to construct both pipelines using
experience gained in the construction of the Blue Stream
pipeline that connects Russia and Turkey under the Eastern portion of
the Black Sea. Additionally, ENI seeks full partnership with
Russia on the South Stream project. GOI and ENI contacts have reported
that the company was having trouble getting a firm Russian
commitment to this South Stream partnership. The plummeting price of
hydrocarbons may have reduced the economic incentives for this project,
but many analysts believe that Russian geo-strategic concerns will
trump business considerations on this project. The most recent
Russia- Ukraine gas dispute seems to have revived interest in the
Nord Stream and South Stream projects, especially among those who see
Ukraine as the problem.


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15. (C/NF) Italy is not totally blind to the dangers of its
dependence on Russia, however, and it is taking some steps
that may prevent an increase in the percentage of their energy that
they get from Russia. Upon returning to power, Berlusconi announced
that he would return the country to nuclear power. While the GOI
seems serious, this project will require eye-popping expenditures,
long- term commitment, and the resolution of thorny environmental
problems. Some fear that the nuclear project was launched in response
to an oil price of $140 per barrel, and wonder if the Italian
commitment to nuclear power will recede if oil prices stay low. Italy
is also increasing its use of Liquid Natural Gas and is finishing
work on a new terminal in the Northern Adriatic. While
less-than-enthusiastic about the EU's complex Nabucco pipeline, the GOI
seems to be supporting the smaller-scale Turkey-Greece-Italy pipeline
project designed to bring Caspian gas to Western Europe. Edison, a
French company with Italian roots, is trying to determine if it
should commit to this project. While Azeri gas supplies and
Turkey's willingness to allow the gas to flow West are unresolved
issues, Edison believes its project has a chance of succeeding
because unlike Nabucco, it is small enough -- it believes -- not to
provoke opposition from Russia. The GOI -- especially powerful
Minister for Economic Development Scajola -- supports the TGI project
(in fact GOI officials complain if the U.S. sometimes seems to imply
that Nabucco should have priority). There is fear that a successful
launch of South Stream would -- by promising to meet demand -- doom
both South Stream and Nabucco.

A Foreign Policy Designed to Deny Russia Nothing
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

16. (C/NF) The combination of historical ideological
sympathy, energy dependence, lack of institutional influence, and a
close personal relationship between Berlusconi and Putin serve to
provide Russia with an apparently trusted ally, overtly willing to work
overtime within the EU on Moscow's behalf. Russia can count on Italy
to support its efforts to remove irritants in its relations with
the West, including:

- pressure on/within OSCE to overlook Russia's lack of
compliance with its legally binding Istanbul commitments on frozen
conflicts,
- weak support or even opposition to NATO efforts to build
closer ties to Georgia and Ukraine,
- weak initial support for international efforts to recognize
Kosovo's independence,
- unhelpful comments on U.S. bilateral Missile Defense plans
with Poland and Czech Republic,
- support for Russian President Medvedev's plans to redefine
European security architecture to undermine OSCE and NATO.
- support for Russian efforts to undermine EU and US energy
security initiatives for Europe.

17. (C/NF) In the past, Berlusconi's highly-prized personal
relationship with U.S. President Bush was an important
counterweight to Russian influence, but many pro-U.S. Italian party
officials on both sides of the aisle have worried to us that Bush's
departure could tempt Berlusconi to move closer to Russia. For his
part, Berlusconi has publicly stated that he would like to become a
bridge between the U.S. and Russia and to "educate a young and
inexperienced new American president" on how to deal with the Russians.
If the past is any guide, this will likely mean an intensified
effort to press the Russian agenda with the U.S.

Mitigating the Problem: Pushing Back on a Corrosive Influence
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

18. (C/NF) To tackle the problem head-on, Post has deployed
a robust diplomatic and public affairs strategy targeting key figures
inside and outside government. Our aim is two-fold: educate our
interlocutors more profoundly on Russian activities and thus
the context for U.S. policy, as well as build a counter- weight
of dissenting opinion on Russia policy, especially within
Berlusconi's political party. . Since the beginning of the summer, wit
Berlusconi's return to power and the Georgia crisis, we have
been engaging with GOI leaders aggressively at all levels. Pol,
PA and Econoffs have engaged party members, GOI contacts, think
tanks and even press to provide an alternative narrative to the
Berlusconi insistence that Russia is a democratic and stable country
that has been provoked by the West. The effort seems to be paying
off. The opposition has begun taking jabs at Berlusconi by portraying
him as choosing the wrong side of the debate. Some in the PdL have
begun to approach us privately to say that they would like greater
dialogue with us on the Russia issue, and have indicated their

Rome 00000097 005 of 005


interest in challenging Berlusconi's giddiness about Putin. While we
have a long way to go in changing the narrative, unfortunately, we have
help - in the form of a PM who appears increasingly to be the
mouthpiece of Putin.

Comment
- - - -

19. (C/NF) The bilateral relationship between the U.S. and
Italy is excellent and encompasses tremendous cooperation
on many levels and on many fronts.
Unfortunately, Berlusconi efforts to "repair" the relationship
between the West and Russia (which as he told the Ambassador in their
farewell meeting on February 23, "sticks in my gut as a large
undigested mass") are threatening his credibility and
becoming a real irritant in our relationship. We can help
get him back on the right track by sending him a clear signal
that the U.S. does not need an interlocutor for its important bilateral
relationship with Russia and that his insistence on undermining existing
structures and channels based on common interests and shared values
within the alliance in exchange for short term stability is not a
strategy Washington wishes to pursue.

Spogli

The Beginning of the End of the American Empire

The Beginning of the End of the American Empire
Excerpt from "The Global Economic Crisis"

Global Research, December 4, 2010

The following text is a preview from Global Research Publishers' recent book on the Global Economic Crisis.

Scroll down to read an excerpt from Tanya Cariina Hsu`s chapter.

The Global Economic Crisis

The following is a sneak peak of Tanya Cariina Hsu's chapter in the new book from Global Research, "The Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century." Order now from Global Research.



"I sincerely believe... that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies."–U.S. President Thomas Jefferson; Letter to John Taylor, May 1816

America is dying. It is self-destructing and bringing the rest of the world down with it.Often referred to as a sub-prime mortgage collapse, this obfuscates the real reason. By associating tangible useless failed mortgages, at least something ‘real’ can be blamed for the carnage. The banking industry renamed insurance betting guarantees as "credit default swaps" and risky gambling wagers were called "derivatives". Financial managers and banking executives were selling the ultimate con to the entire world, akin to the snake-oil salesmen from the 18th century but this time in suits and ties. And by October 2008, it was a quadrillion-dollar (that’s 1 000 trillion dollar) industry that few could understand.[1] Propped up by false hope, America is now falling like a house of cards.

The Beginning of the End

It all began in the early part of the 20th century. In 1907, J.P. Morgan, a private New York banker, published a rumor that a competing unnamed large bank was about to fail. It was a false charge but customers nonetheless raced to their banks to withdraw their money, in case it was their bank. As they pulled out their funds, the banks lost their cash deposits and were forced to call in their loans. People therefore had to pay back their mortgages to fill the banks with income, going bankrupt in the process. The 1907 panic resulted in a crash that prompted the creation of the Federal Reserve, a private banking cartel with the veneer of an independent government organization. Effectively, it was a coup by elite bankers in order to control the industry.

When signed into law in 1913, the Federal Reserve would loan and supply the nation’s money, but with interest. The more money it was able to print, the more "income" it generated for itself. By its very nature, the Federal Reserve would forever keep producing debt to stay alive. It was able to print America’s monetary supply at will, regulating its value. To control valuation, however, inflation had to be kept in check.

The Federal Reserve then doubled America’s money supply within five years, and in 1920, it called in a mass percentage of loans. Over five thousand banks collapsed overnight. One year later, the Federal Reserve again increased the money supply by 62 percent, but in 1929, it again called the loans back in, en masse.[2] This time, the crash of 1929 caused over sixteen thousand banks to fail and an 89 percent plunge on the stock market.[3] The private and well-protected banks within the Federal Reserve system were able to snap up the failed banks at pennies on the dollar.

The nation fell into the Great Depression and in April 1933, President Roosevelt issued an executive order that confiscated all gold bullion from the public. Those who refused to turn in their gold would be imprisoned for ten years, and by the end of the year the gold standard was abolished.[4] What had been redeemable for gold became paper "legal tender", and gold could no longer be exchanged for cash as it had once been.

Later, in 1971, President Nixon removed the dollar from the gold standard altogether, therefore no longer trading at the internationally fixed price of 35 dollars. The U.S. dollar was now worth whatever the U.S. decided it was worth because it was "as good as gold". It had no standard of measure and became the universal currency. Treasury bills (short-term notes) and bonds (long-term notes) replaced gold as value, promissory notes of the U.S. government and paid for by the taxpayer. Additionally, gold could not be traced because it was exempt from currency reporting requirements, unlike the fiduciary (i.e. that based upon trust) monetary systems of the West. That was not in America’s best interest.

After the Great Depression, private banks remained afraid to make home loans, so Roosevelt created Fannie Mae. A state-supported mortgage bank, it provided federal funding to finance home mortgages for affordable housing. In 1968, President Johnson privatized Fannie Mae, and in 1970, Freddie Mac was created to compete with Fannie Mae. Both of them bought mortgages from banks and other lenders and sold them on to new investors.

Flush With Cash

The post World War II boom had created an America flush with cash and assets. With its military industrial complex, war exponentially profited the U.S. and unlike any empire in history, it shot to superpower status. But it failed to remember that historically, whenever empires rose, they also fell in direct proportion.

Americans could afford all the modern conveniences, exporting their manufactured goods all over the world. After the Vietnam War, the U.S. went into an economic decline. But people were loath to give up their elevated standard of living despite the loss of jobs and production was increasingly sent overseas. A sense of delusion and entitlement kept Americans on the treadmill of consumer consumption.

In 1987 the U.S. stock market plunged by 22 percent in one day because of high-risk futures trading, called derivatives, and in 1989 the Savings & Loan crisis resulted in President George H. W. Bush using 142 billion dollars in taxpayer funds to rescue half of the S&Ls.[5] To do so, Freddie Mac was given the task of giving sub-prime (at or near prime-rate) mortgages to low-income families. In 2000, the "irrational exuberance" of the dot-com bubble burst, and fifty percent of high-tech firms went bankrupt, wiping five trillion dollars from their over-inflated market values.[6]

After this crisis, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan kept interest rates so low they were less than the rate of inflation. Anyone saving his or her income actually lost money, and the savings rate soon fell into negative territory.

During the 1990s, advertisers went into overdrive, marketing an ever more luxurious lifestyle, all made available with cheap, easy credit. Second mortgages became commonplace, and home equity loans were used to pay credit card bills. The more Americans bought, the more they fell into debt. But as long as they had a house their false sense of security remained: their home was their equity, it would always go up in value, and they could always remortgage at lower rates if needed. The financial industry also believed that housing prices would forever climb, but should they ever fall the central bank would cut interest rates so that prices would jump back up. It was, everyone believed, a win-win situation.

Greenspan’s rock-bottom interest rates let anyone afford a home. Minimum wage service workers with aspirations to buy a half million dollar house were able to secure one hundred percent loans, the mortgage lenders fully aware that they would not be able to keep up the payments. So many people received these sub-prime loans that the investment houses and lenders came up with a new scheme: bundle these virtually worthless home loans and sell them as solid U.S. investments to unsuspecting countries who would not know the difference. American lives of excess and consumer spending never suffered, and were being propped up by foreign nations none the wiser.

It has always been the case that a bank would lend out more than it actually had, because interest payments generated its income. The more the bank loaned, the more interest it collected even with no money in the vault. It was a lucrative industry of giving away money it never had in the first place. Mortgage banks and investment houses even borrowed money on international money markets to fund these one hundred percent plus sub-prime mortgages, and began lending more than ten times their underlying assets.

Post 9/11 Militarization: Financing the "Global War on Terrorism"

After 9/11, George Bush told the nation to spend, and during a time of war, that’s what the nation did. It borrowed at unprecedented levels so as to pay not only for its war on terror in the Middle East (calculated to cost four trillion dollars) but also pay for tax cuts at the very time it should have increased taxes.[7] Bush removed the reserve requirements in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, from ten percent to 2.5 percent. They were free to not only lend even more at bargain basement interest rates, but they only needed a fraction of reserves. Soon banks lent thirty times asset value. It was, as one economist put it, an "orgy of excess".[8]

It was flagrant overspending during a time of war. At no time in history has a nation gone into conflict without sacrifice, cutbacks, tax increases, and economic conservation. And there was a growing chance that, just like in 1929, investors would rush to claim their money all at once.

To guarantee, therefore, these high risk mortgages, the same financial houses that sold them then created "insurance policies" against the sub-prime investments they were selling, marketed as Credit Default Swaps (CDS). But the government must regulate insurance policies, so by calling them CDS they remained totally unregulated. Financial institutions were "hedging their bets" and selling premiums to protect the junk assets. In other words, the asset that should go up in value could also have a side-bet, just in case it might go down. By October 2008, CDS were trading at 62 trillion dollars, more than the stock markets of the whole world combined.[9]

These bets had absolutely no value whatsoever and were not investments. They were just financial instruments called derivatives – high stakes gambling, "nothing from nothing" – or as Warren Buffet referred to them, "Weapons of Financial Mass Destruction."[10] The derivatives trade was "worth" more than one quadrillion dollars, or larger than the economy of the entire world. (In September 2008, the global Gross Domestic Product was sixty trillion dollars).

Challenged as being illegal in the 1990s, Greenspan legalized the derivatives practice. Soon hedge funds became an entire industry, betting on the derivatives market and gambling as much as they wanted. It was easy because it was money they did not have in the first place. The industry had all the appearances of banks, but the hedge funds, equity funds, and derivatives brokers had no access to government loans in the event of a default. If the owners defaulted, the hedge funds had no money to pay "from nothing". Those who had hedged on an asset going up or down would not be able to collect on the winnings or losses.

The market had become the largest industry in the world, and all the financial giants were cashing in: Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Citigroup and AIG. But homeowners, long maxed out on their credit, were now beginning to default on their mortgages. Not only were they paying for their house but also all the debt amassed over the years for car, credit card and student loans, medical payments and home equity loans. They had borrowed to pay for groceries and skyrocketing health insurance premiums to keep up with their bigger houses and cars; they refinanced the debt they had for lower rates that soon ballooned. The average American owed 25 percent of their annual income to credit card debts alone.[11]

In 2008, housing prices began to slide precipitously downwards and mortgages were suddenly losing value. Manufacturing orders were down 4.5 percent by September, inventories began to pile up, unemployment was soaring and average house foreclosures had increased by 121 percent and up to 200 percent in California.[12]

The financial giants had to stop trading these mortgage-backed securities, as now their losses would have to be visibly accounted for. Investors began withdrawing their funds. Bear Stearns, heavily specialized in home loan portfolios, was the first to go in March.


This was only an excerpt from Tanya Cariina Hsu's chapter. To read the rest, order the book from Global Research.

Notes

1. Bank for International Settlements (BIS), Triennial Central Bank Survey of Foreign Exchange and Derivatives Market Activity in 2007 – Final Results, 19 December 2007. Report available at

http://www.bis.org/press/p071219.htm. The amounts actually exceeded one quadrillion dollars. According to the BIS report, outstanding derivatives worldwide had reached US $1.144 quadrillion, or US $1,144 trillion. This included Listed Credit Derivatives of $548 trillion, plus Over-The-Counter (OTC) notional (or face value) Derivatives of $596 trillion. The latter was comprised of Interest Rate Derivatives at or near $393+ trillion; Credit Default Swaps at or near $58+ trillion; Foreign Exchange Derivatives at or near $56+ trillion; Commodity Derivatives at or near $9 trillion; Equity Linked Derivatives at about $8.5 trillion; Unallocated Derivatives at about USD 71+ trillion. See also http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/mt/archives/2008/10/the_size_of_der.php.

2. Murray N. Rothbard, America’s Great Depression, Ludwig von Mises Institute, Auburn, 2000, p. 102.

3. Susan B. Carter, Scott Sigmund Gartner, Michael R. Haines, Alan L. Olmstead, Richard Sutch and Gavin Wright (Eds.), Historical Statistics of the United States, p. 235, 263, 1001, 1007.

4. President Franklin D. Roosevelt Executive Order 6102, 5 April 1933, requiring "all gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates" to be delivered to the Federal Reserve Bank by May 1st 1933 under a criminal penalty of a $10,000 fine, ten years’ imprisonment, or both.

5. Dan Beighley, "Historical Perspectives", Orange County Business Journal, 13-19 October 2008. The FDIC places the total loss to the taxpayer even higher, at $153 billion; Timothy Curry and Lynn Shibut, "The Cost of the Savings and Loan Crisis: Truth and Consequences", FDIC Banking Review, July 2000.

6. NASDAQ Composite Index March 2000 – October 2002 (peak of 5048 to low of 1108).

7. David M. Herszenhorn, "Estimates of Iraq War Cost Were Not Close to Ballpark", New York Times,

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/times topics/people/h/david_m_herszenhorn/index.ht ml?inline=nyt-per, 19 March 2008.

8. Speech by Richard W. Fisher to New York University, "Responding to Turbulence", Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, 25 September 2008.

9. International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. (ISDA), Mid-Year 2008 Market Survey.

10. BBC News, "Buffett Warns on Investment ‘Time Bomb’", BBC News,

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/2817995.stm, 4 March 2003.

11. Ben Woolsey and Matt Schulz, Credit Card Statistics, Industry Facts, Debt Statistics, Creditcards.com, 2008.

12. U.S. Census Bureau, Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories and Orders (M3), 2 July 2009; "Foreclosure Activity Up 14 Percent in Second Quarter: Activity Increases 121 Percent From Q2 2007", Realty Trends, August 2008,

http://www.realtytrac.com/News-Trends/newsletter/2008/August.html; "California Foreclosures Up 200% From Last Year", PRNewswire-USNewswire, 6 September 2008.

Tanya Cariina Hsu is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Tanya Cariina Hsu